The shipment of insects

We have already shipped several interesting insects to all corners of the worlds in the past.

Everybody has heard of flying ants, but flying 7,000 km in one go without a break?
The answer is yes – albeit in an escape-proof transport box in a Boeing 777 aircraft.

An entire colony on ants flew over the wide ocean for research on “cooperation within the colony”, or butterfly pupae from Costa Rica to Europe (report in our Infotheke).

In their function as flower pollinators, many insects provide this service for approx. 1/3 of all food worldwide. Other important functions include food production, the dissemination of plant seeds and gravedigging.
Insects are one of the most species-rich class of animals in the world. Approx. one million species of insects have been scientifically documented to date, accounting for 60% of all animal species in the world.
Their habitats are just as diverse as the richness of their species: ranging from dry fallow land through to humid jungles, insects colonise even the most inhospitable regions.
Although the individual species differ from each other optically, they nevertheless have the following features in common: they do not possess a spine, instead their body consists of a chitin covering and is divided into three sections: the head (also known as the caput), the breast (also known as the thorax) and the abdomen.
Characteristic for the head are a pair of antennae and compound eyes. Individual species differ in their mouth parts: sucker, proboscis or biting jaw.
The breast, also known as the thorax, exhibits the following characteristics: three pairs of jointed legs and two pairs of wings.
All the vital organs of insects are located in their abdomen, including the tracheae that regulate their breathing via an intricate system of tubes.

The species-appropriate shipping of insects is an extremely special matter to be discussed individually with customers.

This includes the following important points:

  • The commercial invoice has to match the packing list / delivery note 100%. Any export & import CITES must be available

  • Health certificate

  • Journey declaration containing the transport passage of time

  • The packaging must be appropriate: for example, the holes to provide the air supply must be small enough to prevent any insects from escaping

  • Providing suitable nourishment for the journey

  • The inside of the styrofoam or cardboard box should be covered with newspapers

  • Depending on the species of insect, the temperature should lie in the range of +20C° to +23C° during the entire transport

  • The box should not weigh more than 35 kg

  • The box should be stackable


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With over 50 years’ experience, Gradlyn Petshipping is your specialist provider for international amphibian transport.

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